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Blugold Marching Band plays for pope on New Year's Day

UW-Eau Claire again makes Kiplinger's best-values list

Join fellow Blugolds at February alumni events

Calling all Blugold couples: Send us your story!

Student researcher aims to improve quality of Half Moon Lake

Emerita professor's estate gift supports students, faculty

Scholarships memorialize math professor, recent alumna

Chippewa River's history to be January 'Let's Do Lunch' topic

Band marches on with support from alumni gift

New alumni success stories

Blugold Trivia

Alumni Links

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Alumni events

Blugold Babies

Photo album

'The View' online

Alumni success stories

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January 2008

Blugold Marching Band plays for pope on New Year's Day

Blugold marching band entering St. Peter's Square
The Blugold Marching Band entered St. Peter's Square in Rome on New Year's Day. (Photo by Andrei Strizek '05)
New Year's Day crowd cheers for Blugold Marching Band
The crowd cheered at the band's New Year's Day performance, chanting "Blu-golds, Blu-golds!" — which they read on the band members' uniforms. (Photo by Andrei Strizek '05)
See more photos and information about the tour on the Blugold Marching Band Web site. Band member Josh Myers also has posted online photos from the trip.

One hundred twenty members of UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Marching Band played the gig of a lifetime Jan. 1 when they performed in St. Peter's Square in Rome for Pope Benedict XVI's New Year's Day blessing. The performance before an estimated crowd of 100,000 was part of the group's tour of Italy and Greece from Dec. 28 through Jan. 6.

Other band performances during the tour included the Rome New Year's Day parade and stage shows at the Duomo in Florence, on the Via della Conciliazione in Rome, and at Syntagma (Constitution) Square in Athens.

Randal Dickerson, associate professor of music and the band's director, coordinated the arrangements for the tour, which also included 47 guests, among them Blugold alumni and band members' family and friends. Planning for the tour included scheduling three buses between UW-Eau Claire and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six flight plans from Minneapolis to Rome to Athens and back. Learn more about the Blugold Marching Band's Italy/Greece tour. back to top

UW-Eau Claire again makes Kiplinger's best-values list
UW-Eau Claire excellence sealKiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has again included UW-Eau Claire among its 100 best values in public colleges. UW-Eau Claire is ranked 64th in the magazine's national 2008 rankings for in-state students and 62nd in best value for out-of-state students. The "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" lists are published online and in the magazine's February issue.

To create its top 100 lists, Kiplinger's reviews data from more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities throughout the country. Researchers narrow the list by using several measures of academic quality, including freshman class ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and graduation rates. The magazine then ranks each school based on cost and financial aid. Full story. back to top

Join fellow Blugolds at February alumni events
UW-Eau Claire alumni are encouraged to attend one or more of the following Alumni Association events next month:

  • Feb. 9: Men's alumni basketball game at 11 a.m. in Zorn Arena and evening alumni gathering at 7:30 p.m. at The Barley Club at Pine Meadow, Eau Claire. 2007 Alumni basketball pictures.
  • Feb. 14: Performance by UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I at 5:45 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center during the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter In-Service Clinic. The Alumni Association will host a reception following the performance.
  • Feb. 23: Women's alumni basketball game at 10 a.m. in Zorn Arena and afternoon reception at 4:30 p.m. in Davies Center.
  • Feb. 28: "Beat the Winter Blues" alumni gathering from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Bear Creek Grille, Eau Claire, featuring the music of the Swinging Babylonians.

Check the online alumni events calendar for more information and registration/RSVP details on these and other upcoming Alumni Association events. back to top

Calling all Blugold couples: Send us your story!
A fun new alumni Web page is in development that will showcase the stories of couples who met while they were students at UW-Eau Claire. If you and your spouse or life partner are both UW-Eau Claire grads and your life of "Blugold Bliss" began on Wisconsin's most beautiful campus, then send us your story!

It's easy as 1, 2, 3! We'll need (1) if you have one, a photo of the two of you from your days on campus; (2) a current couple photo; and (3) your responses to the following questions:

  • What are your and your spouse/partner's names and UW-Eau Claire graduation dates?
  • Where and how did you meet while students at UW-Eau Claire?
  • Was it a “love connection” from the start? 
  • Is there a place on campus that is special for the two of you — as the location of your first date/first kiss, etc.? 
  • What is your fondest memory as a couple that connects you to UW-Eau Claire? 
  • If you are married, when did you tie the knot?

E-mail your photos and responses to alumni@uwec.edu, and include "Blugold couples" in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you! back to top

Patrick Dryer
Patrick Dryer took sediment samples from Half Moon Lake last summer. (Contributed photo)

Student researcher aims to improve quality of Half Moon Lake
A UW-Eau Claire senior is investigating the feasibility of recycling or composting the industrial organic waste that's found in many Wisconsin lakes, including Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire. Patrick Dryer, a geography major from Ashland, will complete his research and share his findings in April at the 2008 Association of American Geographers conference in Boston.

"We extracted sediment from Half Moon Lake last summer, composted it and are studying it to see if we can turn it into a soil enhancer," Dryer said. "We're checking nutrient levels and the heavy metal content of the sediment. The goal is to figure out how much industrial organic waste is in the lake and what to do with it to make the lake quality better." Full story. The project also was featured in a December Eau Claire Leader-Telegram article.back to top

Emerita professor's estate gift supports students, faculty

Juanita Sorenson
Juanita Sorenson

A UW-Eau Claire professor emerita of education has left a third of her estate to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation to support scholarship and professional development funds.
      Years ago Juanita Sorenson and her husband, Douglas, established the Juanita S. Sorenson Scholarship and the Juanita S. and Douglas D. Sorenson Professional Development Fund. They established trusts during their lifetimes so when Douglas died in 2002, a portion of his estate funded a testamentary trust. When Juanita died in 2006, their full philanthropy was accomplished.
      "The Sorensons' gift is among the largest estate gifts made possible by faculty emeriti of the university," said Kimera Way, executive director of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. "The gift is a perfect example of how long-term planning can come to full fruition." Full story. back to top

Scholarships memorialize math professor, recent alumna
Gifts to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation have funded scholarships honoring the memory of a beloved mathematics professor and a 2006 business graduate:

Eberth Alarcón
Eberth Alarcón
  • The Eberth Alarcón Memorial Scholarship, established by Alarcón's wife, Dr. Asha Sen, a UW-Eau Claire associate professor of English, has been endowed thanks to numerous gifts given in honor of Alarcón. Alarcón, who was an associate professor of mathematics, died of acute leukemia in September 2006. The $500 annual scholarship will be awarded for the first time in the 2008-09 academic year to an outstanding incoming Latino/Latina freshman interested in a major in mathematics. Financial need will be a primary consideration for the award. Full story.
  • A scholarship and two paintings in Schneider Hall will honor the memory of 2006 UW-Eau Claire business finance graduate Jennifer Alexander. Alexander died from a heart condition while working out near her Minneapolis home. The Jennifer L. Alexander Memorial Scholarship was established through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation by Alexander's parents, Diane and Harry Alexander; her siblings, Matthew and Melissa; and her fiancé, Curtiss Mayenschein, a 2007 UW-Eau Claire graduate. Her loved ones also directed that a portion of their gifts be used to purchase the two paintings as a more tangible tribute to Alexander. Full story. back to top

Chippewa River's history to be January 'Let's Do Lunch' topic
'Let's Do Lunch' imageA UW-Eau Claire geography professor will talk about historic changes to the Chippewa River, a defining feature of the landscape of west-central Wisconsin, during an Alumni Association luncheon from noon-1 p.m. Jan. 30 at Sweetwaters Restaurant in Eau Claire.

Dr. Douglas Faulkner, associate professor and co-director of the Confluence Center for Chippewa River Studies, will present "Reconstructing Historical Change of the Lower Chippewa River" as part of the monthly "Let's Do Lunch" series. He will talk about why the Chippewa River is so variable, sometimes appearing to be a sluggish and slowly changing stream when it is actually the opposite. Full story. back to top

Alumni success stories
Read about the accomplishments of these and other UW-Eau Claire alumni on the Alumni Success Stories Web pages:

Darrell Doepke Darrell Doepke '81, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate who has lived in the Seattle area for the past 20 years, has found a unique way to celebrate his dual loyalty to the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Full story.
Kenneth Smemo Kenneth Smemo '57, a UW-Eau Claire history education graduate, retired in December after 46 years on the faculty at Minnesota State University Moorhead, but he plans to stay on as an adjunct professor. Full story.
Dawn Mrozinski Dawn Mrozinski '05, a UW-Eau Claire nursing graduate, is fundraising coordinator for Angel Space, an Eau Claire facility where the terminally ill can stay and receive medical care during their final days. Full story.
Matt and Erin Smith Matt Smith '98 and Erin Smith '96 are co-authors of a recently published murder mystery and will be visiting UW-Eau Claire in February while on their book tour. (Matt is a UW-Eau Claire biology graduate and Erin is a UW-Eau Claire criminal justice and Spanish graduate.) Full story.
UW-Eau Claire excellence seal Justin Vernon '04, a UW-Eau Claire religious studies graduate, produced a self-released album, "For Emma, Forever Ago," that now is set for national re-release in February under the Jagjaguwar record label. Full story.
Karen Bunde Gleisner Karen Bunde Gleisner '76, a UW-Eau Claire art graduate, is switching careers after 30 years as a TV station art director. Now a student in a bakery production program, she has won a gingerbread house contest she entered as part of her coursework. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire excellence seal Ann Knox-Bauer '88, a UW-Eau Claire journalism graduate, has been appointed a Taylor County (Wis.) Circuit Court judge. Full story. back to top

Blugold Trivia headline
Show how much you know about UW-Eau Claire — AND win great Blugold prizes! E-mail your answer to this month's question to the Blugold Trivia mailbox (trivia@uwec.edu). Those sending correct responses to this month's question will be entered in a drawing for a UW-Eau Claire sweatshirt. The name of this month's Blugold Trivia winner will be published in the February issue of e-View.

January Blugold Trivia question:

Cabaret performersWhen UW-Eau Claire students present Cabaret this month, it will be the 30th year for the variety show that is the largest annual production of the university's music and theatre arts department. How many months long is the production schedule for the show, and how many students are involved (including directors and cast)?

Know the answer? E-mail it, along with your name and class year, to trivia@uwec.edu. You'll be notified by e-mail if you are this month's winner!

December's winner:
Congratulations to Alex Reinders, a 1980 UW-Eau Claire business graduate! Alex has won the December Blugold Trivia prize in a drawing from among those who correctly answered that the Blugold Marching Band, which currently has 202 members, had just 60 members in 2000. back to top

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Last Updated: January 25, 2008 Questions/Comments: alumni@uwec.edu